Wedding Expenses Can Spoil the Bliss
Wedding Expenses Can Spoil the Bliss
Shopping Around Can Save Your Wedding Budget. Plan your Wedding Expenses wisely, and comparison shop a little to find good deals. You don’t have to find the best price around, but a few phone calls, can greatly reduce your Wedding Expenses.
Bride to be Toni Agius found the wedding gown of her dreams: an off-the-shoulder sheath, covered with beads, sequins and lace. But the $3,000 price tag was going to blow her wedding budget. Instead of going into debt, spending most of your wedding expenses, or just giving up on the gown, Ms. Agius did what experts say too few brides do: serious comparison shopping to save on wedding expenses. ”I got the style number and the name of the manufacturer. Then I opened up a phone book and started calling around,” said the 25-year-old nurse. Some bridal stores wouldn’t return her calls; others gave her a wide range of prices. But the best price came from a mail-order company called Discount Bridal Service. ”I got it for $ 425,” said Ms. Agius, who lives in White Lake Township, Michigan. “I then decided to save on other Wedding Expenses by using the same method.”
With thousands of couples getting engaged over the holidays, January and February are the wedding industry’s big months for marketing their wares at bridal shows and in magazines such as Modern Bride. The hype is huge, with the industry pushing couples – or parents – to drop thousands of dollars because, they insist, only the best will do: designer dresses, expensive flowers, huge cakes, limos, bands and luxury honeymoons, and all other Wedding Expenses.
But bridal couples can learn to be savvy like Ms. Agius and get the most for their money. ”People need to realize that this is an industry. This is a very big business – $ 10 billion in weddings and receptions alone. So it can be cutthroat,” said Alan Fields. He and his wife, Denise, became the Ralph Naders of the wedding world with their brutally honest books Bridal Bargains (Windsor Peak Press, $ 11.95) and Bridal Gown Guide (Windsor Peak Press, $ 9.95). Certainly not everyone is out to rip off bridal couples. But they are in the business of selling.
Bride’s magazine estimates that the wedding industry generates $ 32 billion in annual retail sales, when the costs of gifts and honeymoons are included. But buying wedding services should be just like making any other major consumer purchase, the Fieldses warn. ”When you walk into a new or used car dealership, you’ve got your defenses up, you’ve done your research, you’ve read Consumer Reports,” Mr. Fields said. Yet most consumers blindly buy wedding services – and all too often encounter unpleasant surprises, he said. Every year, the Better Business Bureau of Detroit and Eastern Michigan gets dozens of complaints from couples about wedding disasters. ”There are delays with bridal gowns; problems with photographers; lots of problems with limos – delayed limo, no limo, nasty limo, limos with Dorito bags all over the floor,” said bureau spokeswoman Carmel Weems. ”The big problem is that people plan and plan for their wedding, but ultimately they have little control,” Ms. Weems said. They are at the mercy of the companies they hire and the contracts they sign, she said.
A few ways to save on your Wedding Expenses:
Money Saving Tips
- Discount Wedding Gowns: The average price of a wedding gown is $ 800, and many top $ 1,000 or $ 2,000. Consider a mail-order discounting service, such as Discount Bridal Service, (800) 874-8794 anytime. It can order gowns from national designers for 20 percent to 30 percent less than those found in some salons. You’ll work through a local representative; the savings come from the lack of salon overhead. You’ll have to shop around for alterations. But it is worth saving on one of the major Wedding Expenses.
- Rental and Resale: Some stores rent wedding gowns or sell used wedding dresses.
- Save on Wedding Flowers: Balloons are an affordable alternative to floral centerpieces. To decorate a church, flowering plants and greenery can be rented from a nursery.
- Don’t Engrave: Wedding Invitations can have the elegant look of engraving through a process called thermography, which saves up to 70 percent. Another dent in your Wedding Expenses.
- Wedding Limo Deals: Save money by renting limos through funeral homes, which often have cars idle on weekends.
- Go to the Park: Cities often rent parks and clubhouses for wedding receptions at more affordable rates than privately owned locations. Many of these civic sites allow outside caterers, so you can shop around for the best deal on food.
- Wedding Photos: Hire a wedding photographer or wedding videographer to shoot the wedding ceremony only. Then have friends and family use their own cameras – or disposable cameras you provide – at the wedding reception. This can save up to $500 on your Wedding Expenses.